Taipei Night Market, Treasure Island on Tip of Tongue

  The “Double Eleven” shopping festival in China is in full swing in 2019. On this day, the largest traditional night market in Kaohsiung, the “Labor Night Market”, ended its 30-year history by occupying roads and affecting residents, and more than 300 street vendors made a living. . A large number of people went to take pictures, and last time bought food from “snack to big”.
  Taiwanese have special feelings and memories of night markets.
  The night market is not only a place for locals to eat and relax, but also a popular spot for the island’s exterior light tourism. The night market and snacks suddenly form a unique culture-the popular culture representing the civilian class.
  A native of a small quiet, said: “Nothing special experience, but this is a night market is love can accept anyone’s space, and consequently may be, and consequently do not wonder, very friendly..”
  Turned the Northern Song Meng veterans “Beautiful Dream Tokyo “, The night market was reopened until the third night, and the fifth night was reopened. If you want to go anywhere, you know it all.” Wu Zimu of the Southern Song Dynasty described it in “Menglianglu”: “Hangcheng Street, the night of buying and selling painting is endless . At night three or four drums, some people are scarce. Five drums Zhongming, those who sell the morning market, and opened a shop again. “After
  walking more than 700 years, Taipei Shilin, as if met Hangzhou at that time.
  The morning market is still in sight, and the night has not completely lowered, and the night market has begun to be lively. The red lantern was an incandescent lamp, as if it was just about to open in a day. This day is Monday. The crowd at the night market is not like a holiday with a “chest attached to the back”, but you still have to walk slowly. Once the streets are full of booths, there is a small space and a large number of people. “The leisurely stroll is the biggest fun of visiting the night market.
  Chicken chop with milk tea is the “standard equipment” in the night market snack industry. In addition, sweet potato balls were fried in the oil pan, beef grains were golden under the musket, the heat from the large bowel noodles melted into the lights, and some people silently put the potato into peanuts in the noise. Knead powder …
The origin of the night market

  Tracing back to the origin of the night market, it began to rise in the Tang and Song dynasties in China.
  The night market snacks in the Song Dynasty included ginger drum, Chengsha paste, jellyfish, snail soup with clear juice, sheep blood soup, baked cake, crab, clams, etc. The food in summer and winter is also different. At that time, the night market also sold jewelry and handicrafts, and some people were performing arts and performing arts on the streets.
  From this point of view, the ancient night market is much the same as it is now. The Taipei night market is full of snacks and costumes. Divination and fortune-telling booths such as “I Ching Gua, Marriage and Marriage, and Bazi Liuli” abound. Old Taipei people said that there were also rivers and lakes artists performing and selling ointments, and Liuzhou master pedicures. skin.
  Night markets in Taiwan, China, often rise near transportation hubs, temples, and market settlements, and are usually the areas with the largest crowds.
  The earliest circular night market in Taipei was formed in the early 20th century. At that time, a large number of morning market vendors were gathered near the Xiahai City God Temple in Dadaocheng, the center of the city. The vendors were attracted by evening business opportunities and formed a night market. Nowadays, although the ring night market has ceased to exist due to urban remodeling, the night market stalls are highly mobile, and the axles are relocated to the nearby “Ningxia Night Market”, retaining many traditional food.
  After 1949, the skyrocketing population began to form settlements throughout Taipei, and “people rely on food as the sky.” Street vendors began to gather in places where there were people. In the 1960s and 1970s when Taiwan’s economy took off, night markets were not only snacks, but also centers for selling low-priced goods.
  Another earlier prosperous night market in Taipei is located in Wanhua. It was formed in the square in front of the Longshan Temple, the “Taipei’s first brake” for many years, and then gradually moved to the nearby Guangzhou Street and Huaxi Street. Today, Wanhua is famous for its snake meat shop in “Huaxi Street Sightseeing Night Market”, and Wanhua ’s decline has caused a large number of karaoke shops and lower-level people to provide special services.
  The concept of “sightseeing night market” actually appeared in the 1980s. Night market vendors often swim on the verge of legality, and cause problems such as hygiene, mess, and noise. Therefore, the Taipei City Government tried to dominate and plan the development of the night market with a “sightseeing night market”, on the one hand, legalizing the street vendors, and on the other hand, promoting the local tourism economy. “Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market” is the earliest tourist night market in Taiwan.
  Although compared with high-end business districts, the night market still seems noisy and disorderly, but this scene does not contradict the Chinese culture that likes to be lively. People in the night market don’t have to be constrained. They can speak loudly, wear slippers and plain clothes, eat and stroll, queue up for their favorite food, or squeeze a random table at the same table with strangers.
Although compared with high-end business districts, the night market still seems noisy and disorderly, but this scene does not contradict the Chinese culture that likes to be lively. People in the night market don’t have to be constrained. They can speak loudly, wear slippers and plain clothes, and eat while shopping.

  The night market not only has special snacks, but also a variety of entertainment activities-loops, shooting balloons, mahjong, darts, throwing sandbags, plus Taiwanese warm greetings and funny eloquence, it is difficult not to be attracted to play in the past. Sometimes you can find “early old” activities like goldfish and shrimp fishing.
  From the night market, you can also see the current trend of young people. In the past two years, a new trend has been formed in Taiwan for dolls, with all kinds of doll machines covering streets and alleys, and night markets are of course no exception. In the night market, you can find a variety of new machines with different ways of playing. One coin after another, people love it.
  In addition to the fixed night markets that open every night, aboriginal mobile night markets (also known as “regular markets”) in the fringe areas of the metropolis, towns and even mountainous regions, and mobile night markets are usually open at specific times. city. In Tainan, there is a popular phrase, “Dawu Flower, Dawu Flower, Dawu Flower, Dahua Flower”, which represents the opening time of Dadong Night Market, Wusheng Night Market and Huayuan Night Market each week.

  Chinese food culture is extensive and profound, with a long history. From the selection of ingredients to cooking, it has its own different schools. In the early Qing Dynasty, Lu, Chuan, Yue and Su were called “four major cuisines”. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, the “four major cuisines” had developed into the “eight major cuisines” we are now familiar with-Lu, Chuan, Yue, Su, Fujian, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Huizhou.
  But is China more than the “eight major cuisines”? Northeastern cuisine, Hakka cuisine, Gan cuisine, Beijing cuisine, Hebei cuisine, Henan cuisine, Hubei cuisine, local cuisine, etc. all have their own influence and one vote. Although Taiwanese food, which is famous for its food, is not in the “eight major cuisines”, but due to the influence of Fujian and Guangdong, the taste of food is biased to southern Fujian, Fuzhou, Chaozhou, Hakka and Guangfu.
  During the Japanese colonial rule, Taiwanese cuisine was influenced by Japanese cuisine, and gradually improved tempura, Oden, sashimi and other dishes were gradually added. With the arrival of a large number of mainland nationals after 1949, Taiwanese cuisine has welcomed local cuisines from all over China, such as northern foods such as spring onion cakes, burritos, dumplings, and Hong Kong-style flavors such as roast meat, dim sum, and tea.
  Food is not set in stone, it will be harmonized and improved with the tastes of the locals, and it will be constantly updated with local ingredients. In recent years, cuisines in the United States, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia and other places have also become popular in night markets. American steak burgers, French crepes, Korean fried rice cakes, Vietnamese Pho, Thai moon prawn cakes, Turkish shawarma, etc., recently Some larger night markets even have risotto and German pork feet.
  Popularity will pass, and authentic local snacks will never fade. Some foods are available at every night market, such as fried oysters, large intestine noodles, noodles, fried stinky tofu, meat dumplings, braised pork rice, etc. The taste varies according to the practice of each vendor, but it seems to follow the same recipe Inherited for generations.
  Snacks are different from regular meals and are similar to “dim sum”, but dim sum is eaten differently in various places. For example, Guangdong snacks have a special “morning tea culture”, and they are more particular about and refined. “Snack” has the meaning of snacks and supper, which is more casual and more civilian.
  The process of making snacks is not complicated, but it takes a bit of effort to make it, so the average family does not cook often, so the night market plays a role.
  Each snack stall often provides only a single food, and some snack stalls are also famous for this kind of food and have attracted occupants from all corners, such as the century-old Wujiading Bianyu at the Keelung Miaokou Night Market and the Fuzhou Shizu Pepper Cake from Raohe Night Market.
  Taiwan’s night market food also carries a sense of nostalgia. Near the South Airport, a large number of dependent villages were built after 1949. In order to make a living and comfort the homesickness, many people began to sell snacks in the seller’s hometown. Therefore, there will be many local snacks on the mainland, such as sesame cakes, dumplings, hot and sour The soup and Shanghai fried dumplings were concentrated in 1986 and became the “South Airport Night Market”.
  Not only do snacks have their own meaning, they also have famous names. Some snacks represent the place where it was “born”, such as Shanghai fried dumplings, Hunan meat dumplings, Shandong big cakes, Wenzhou big dumplings, and Tainan Duxiaoyue Danzi Noodles, Changhua Meatballs, Chiayi Chicken Rice, Dongshan Duck Head, Pingtung Wanluan pig feet and so on.
  Some snacks also have the name “Amazing”, such as the “coffin board” in Tainan. It is actually made by adding various materials to the hollow thick toast, which is named because it looks like a coffin. With the integration of exotic cuisine in recent years, some strange names have appeared, such as “Opa sausage” in Shilin Night Market, which is probably related to the popularity of Korean culture.
Night Market Tourism Industrialization

  However, there is another side to prosperity. Overly dense street vendors and crowds of people have gradually come into conflict with cities on the modern road: dirty, noisy, crowded, soot, unhygienic and other problems have come along. Taipei’s largest Shilin sightseeing night market is an example.
  Shilin Night Market originates from the establishment of Shilin Market in 1909. There is a morning market during the day and businesses set up stalls at night. The bazaar was originally concentrated in the area of ​​the local Mazu temple “Cicheng Palace”, but because of the crowds, the temple was unusable to reduce the disturbance, and finally built a wall to guard itself.
  By the end of the 20th century, thanks to the opening of the subway station and the nearby high schools and universities, the Shilin Night Market gradually became Taipei’s largest night market and a must-see attraction for tourists. However, the aforementioned problems led to the reconstruction plan.
Many locals have said that they will not go to Shilin Night Market for a long time. After all, a large part of the night market is driven into modern buildings full of air conditioning and fluorescent lights.

  In 2002, the street vendor in Shilin Market was moved to the temporary market opposite the subway station exit, and then moved back to the original site in 2012. All food vendors were moved into the basement and turned into an “underground food street”.
  Shilin Night Market has since been divided into two pieces, one on the ground, retaining the traditional street vendor model, and the other moving underground. Some people say that the basement is neat and clean, but the aisle planning is very narrow, the congestion is still, and in the case of more limited land use, some businesses even pile up debris in front of fire protection equipment, which inevitably causes hidden dangers.
  And this downward move seems to have moved the nostalgia of many old Taipei people. Many locals have said that they will not go to Shilin Night Market for a long time. After all, a large part of the night market is driven into modern buildings full of air conditioning and fluorescent lights. It has lost four seasons and can’t distinguish between day and night.
  Although the reputation of Shilin Night Market has brought crowds, the relative costs are rising rents, street vendors raising prices, and even multiple incidents of fruit stalls “pit killing” tourists-the fruit in the palm of your hand is asking for 200 yuan.
  On the surface, night markets still seem to be flourishing. In fact, increased competition and the decline of Taiwan’s economy have led to a decline in people’s spending power. The era of “snacks to make a lot of money” is long gone. At the same time, the night market faded away from the “traditional cuisine” and “food nostalgia” and became the highlight of Taiwan’s tourism industry.
  In 2011, the mainland opened free travel to Taiwan. Data show that in 2015, the number of mainland tourists visiting Taiwan reached more than 4 million, and then it began to decline. Even so, there were more than 2.6 million in 2018. Many night markets have slogans “Welcome to WeChat (or Alipay)”.
  Night market stalls were originally based on families. The night market, food, and food makers formed a dynamic “cultural tourism” map. But tourism has also led many chain stores to enter the night market. These chain stores have exactly the same signature dining cars and buy semi-finished products from the central kitchen. The chain stores are located in Taiwan’s large and small night markets, making the night markets known for their “special snacks” homogeneous, instead losing their original characteristics.
  Because Xiaojing lives near the night market, she knows which one is delicious and which one is ordinary. On one occasion, a very ordinary booth suddenly made a long line, and I found out that it was because of a food program interview a few days ago.
  In fact, this phenomenon of “homogenization” is also the same on the mainland. The appearance of old streets in different cities and the food they sell are almost the same. When culture becomes a tourism industry, culture is no longer culture itself, but a subsidiary of business.
  There are hundreds of large and small night markets in Taiwan, which are the common memories of local people across the ages and across regions. Although the “night market culture” has enriched the lives of generations, its status is not standing still. The night market is constantly facing the challenges and doubts of the times, adapting, adapting, and becoming a new look.